By Kiply Lukan Yaworski
Both keynote speakers at a provincial Affirming Hope V Catholic
education conference April 24-26, 2009 in Saskatoon presented
high-energy messages characterized by humour, vision and
Mike Patin, a youth minister and former teacher from Lafayette, Louisiana, provided the
opening address April 24 for the Catholic education conference, after speaking all day to high
school students from across Saskatchewan. Patin also spoke during a Saturday morning
session April 25.
“Sometimes I break ground for the very first time, sometimes I plant seeds, sometimes I
water the seeds that other people have been planting for 10 or 15 years, and sometimes, I
just throw manure,” said Patin, describing himself as a “faith horticulturalist”.
Catholic educators are in a similar situation, Patin noted, planting seeds or nourishing faith
planted by parents and others – and not always seeing the harvest.
He prompted delegates to reflect together on the difficulties, obstacles and challenges of
working in a Catholic school, parish or diocese, and the reasons they continue the work in
spite of difficulties. “God is with me in this mess, and that’s hope,” he said.
Passion and attitude can make all the difference, Patin asserted, encouraging those
entrusted with youth to recognize the importance of the work. “There is no job more real than
what I do, because I touch salvation history every day,” he said of youth ministry. ‘”Hope is
sticking in the trench when you can’t see … it will not always be pretty... but I know God is
with me in the mess. That’s hope.”
Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon
Editor: Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Communications
Phone: 306-242-1500; Toll Free: 1-877-661-5005
Speakers bring lively
message of hope to
Affirming Hope Catholic
Patin cited the invisible workers who
built the great cathedrals as
examples of people who created
something by working away steadily,
adding their labour